JAKQ Dengekitai / Someday, Flowers Will Bloom Isao Sasaki & Koorogi ’73 Columbia Records SCS349
My favorite Super Sentai team of all time will always be JAKQ Dengekitai (1977). Perhaps it was because it was the first Sentai group that I had ever seen which made an impression on me at a young age. In the early 1980’s many new Japanese culture books at the library had pictures of JAKQ to represent 70’s Japanese film and television and I would sit for hours reading and admiring the mystery of the four colored spirits that I would later find out was called JAKQ Dengekitai.
While many discuss that Sun Vulcan was the only three man Sentai team, JAKQ was one of only two groups that featured a four member team, although it is a matter of contention between fans if JAKQ’s Big One was part of the group or not. I still believe that a four member Sentai group is the best team size for Super Sentai.
Many of the recent Sentai groups are also a kiss-up to mother nature with nature, elements and animal as themes. JAKQ’s theme on the other hand is gambling. Also, while today many of the actors who play Sentai characters are cute and pretty young adult actors the three male actors from JAKQ look like thugs that formally played henchman third from the left in Yazuka films.
And those helmets and uniforms! I personally think they are brilliant, iconic and perfect, and the best uniforms in entire 34 year run of Super Sentai. Although Shotaro Ishinomori (1938-1998) only created two Sentai shows, he really nailed it with the look and colorful art design of this program.
But the most important aspect of all of JAKQ is Karen Mizuki / Heart Queen’s little red shorts and boots and how she kicks ass with them throughout the entire 35 episode run of the series. Fantastic!
It is many of those little details that give JAKQ some of the charm that I like so much. But it was a hard-edged show. It was the lack of high antics in the first part of the series that the producers introduced the high spirited Big One to balance out the down beat tone of the program. Accordingly, JAKQ has the distinction of being only Sentai show to be cancelled for low ratings 2/3rds into the program’s run. Keep in mind many of the elements that would make Super Sentai what it is today were still being developed and I do not hold this against JAKQ.
With 70’s pop, rock and disco being all the rage in popular culture and with Las Vegas/ Gambling theme of JAKQ, it was no surprise that the producers choose to record two disco and rock themes for the opening and closing music credits for the show.
Columbia Records SCS349 JAKQ Dengekitai / Someday, Flowers Will Bloom by Isao Sasaki & Koorogi ’73 features a fold out sleeve with classic head shot of Spade Ace. As I am finding out many of these Super Sentai sleeves are beautiful fold out posters with pictures of the casts in and out of henshin and some choice kikaju of the series and lyrics to the songs to sing along with.
The opening theme JAKQ Dengekitai is a nice mix of rock and disco with rumbling tribal drums and bass throughout the song and singer Isao Sasaki deep emotive soulful voice. I admire the breakaway from rock to pop/disco from the verse to the chorus portion of the song and back. Many of these Super Sentai themes where performed by a group called Koorogi ’73 with various singers as the vocalist for the songs and the JAKQ theme is one of Koorogi ‘73 best. Koorogi means Cricket in Japanese.
Singer / voice actor Isao Sasaki is a cornerstone of the anime industry having voiced or sung some of the most rousing anime themes since the 1960’s such as voicing Condor Joe in all four original runs of the Gatchaman’s series and singing the themes for Yamato, Getter Robo, Casshan, Grendizer. Gaiking and Goranger. At age 61 Isao still performs to this day most notably at the yearly Super Sentai Spirits concerts in Japan.
The cryptically titled closing them song Someday, Flowers Will Bloom is another great side that would have gave French music producer Jacques Morali a run for his money back in the day and could have easily sat comfortably on a Ritchie Family or The Village People’s album. The horn and string arrangements are melodic and well arranged with a nice melodramatic and subtle vocal by Isao Sasaki and solid but smooth foundation provided by Koorogi ‘73. Some attention needs to be given to the producer and composer of both songs, Michiaki Watanabe.
While Victor Records ruled the 1980’s anime music market it is Columbia Records that cornered the tokusatsu / anime music industry in the 1970’s and this JAKQ Dengekitai single is one of the best examples of tokusatsu OST music of the 1970’s.
©2009 Leonardo Flores & Collection DX. The music and picture sleeve images for this record are owned by Columbia Records and only used here for review purposes only.